Michael L. ForteMike Forte practices in the areas of trucking, casualty and product liability. He defends clients in trucking accidents involving negligence, catastrophic injury and wrongful death in both state and federal courts. A large portion of his practice involves defending Canadian drivers in lawsuits stemming from Florida accidents. Mike has written and lectured extensively on cross-border issues important to Canadians. He also defends manufacturers of medical equipment and exercise equipment, as well as automobile and airplane manufacturers in product liability matters, and represents retail companies across the state in matters involving negligent security and premises liability.
  • Education

    Stetson University College of Law - J.D., cum laude, 2002
    • Notes and Comments Editor, Stetson Law Review 
    • Intern to the Honorable Magistrate Jenkins, Middle District of Florida
    • Stetson University Teaching Fellow
    • Stetson University Research Assistant
    • Elizabeth M. Leeman Award for best student article published in the Stetson Law Review, 2001-2002
    • First place in Stetson Law Review Write-On Competition for “Zadvydas v. Underwood: How to Ignore Substantive Due Process Rights in Two Easy Steps,” 2001
    University of Florida - B.A., English and Political Science, high honors, 1999
  • Honors

    • Named a "40 under 40 Up & Comer" by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014
    • Florida Defense Lawyers Association Trial Advocate Quarterly Award, 2014
    • AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
    • Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star, Personal Injury Defense-General, 2009-2017
  • Bar Admissions

    • Ohio (2008)
    • Florida (2002)
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. District Courts of Florida (Middle)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • Notable Cases

    • Dorman v. Mid-State Plumbing, Inc. and Gregory Taylor  >>
    • Jennifer Anderson v. Amy Schroth and Patricia Weimer  >>
    • Dorman v. Mid-State Plumbing, Inc.,  >>
    • Thorne v. Temples  >>
    • Messing v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.  >>
    • Ciporkin v. Irwin Contracting, Inc. v. Mark 1 Contracting, Inc.  >>
    • Austin v. Sears Home Improvement Products, Inc.  >>
  • Professional & Civic Activities

    • Risk Insurance Management Society, Executive Board Member
    • Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Trial Advocate Quarterly Chair of Editorial Board
    • The Florida Bar
      • Florida Bar Journal, Past Editorial Board Member
      • Thirteenth Circuit Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee A, Past Chairperson
      • Small Claims Rules Committee, Past Member
      • Trial Lawyers Section
    • Hillsborough County Bar Association
      • Young Lawers Division Professionalism and Ethics Committee, Past Member 
      • Trial Lawyers Section
  • Articles & Presentations

    • Author, "Combating Permanency Without a Defense Medical Expert," Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 1, Winter 2018
    • Co-Presenter, "Defense Strategies Giving You the Most Bang for Your Buck," Claims Education Conference, May 2018, New Orleans
    • Author, "Removal: An Important Defense Tool in U.S. Lawsuits against Canadians," Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association, Without Prejudice, September 2017
    • Co-Author, "Punitive Damages: When Are They Available in Premises Liability Lawsuits?," Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 33. No.1, Winter 2014
    • Presenter, "Public Records and Sunshine Law," Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association, September 2014
    • Co-Author, “Rodriguez v. Miami-Dade County: The Florida Supreme Court Clarifies Certiorari Review in Sovereign Immunity Cases," Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 88, No. 1, January 2014
    • Author, “Admissibility of High-low Agreements in Multi-defendant Litigation,” Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 87, No. 1, November 2013


  • Florida
  • Ohio


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